Clare Boothe Luce Scholars

Program Overview

What is the Clare Boothe Luce Scholars Program?

In late 2015, Barnard College became a first-time recipient of a prestigious Clare Boothe Luce (CBL)  Scholars Program award, funded by the Henry Luce Foundation.  Barnard is one of a dozen institutions receiving the coveted grant last year, which will provide impressive undergraduate research awards to talented Barnard women, focusing on the emergent fields of Big Data and computational science. The CBL Program Director here at Barnard is Professor Tim Halpin-Healy, Chair of Physics & Astronomy.

Applications for the 2nd round of CBL Scholars Program are being accepted now at the start of the Spring 2017 semester. Applications will also be solicited in early 2018 for the next grant cycle. 

The CBL Program provides exceptionally talented undergraduate scholars with meaningful computational research opportunities in the physical sciences, pure & applied mathematics, and computer science. Barnard’s program will, in the end, support eight outstanding students, 2-4 per year. Each scholar will receive myriad resources, including generous stipends for two summers (2x$4500), substantial support for summer housing, as well as a stipend during the intervening academic year, as much as $3000. Scholars and mentors receive additional funds for materials/equipment ($3000), along with monies to cover domestic travel & conferences fees ($1100). Faculty mentors, overseeing numerical, computational and/or projects involving Big Data, will furnish hands-on guidance and support throughout.

Eligible Students

Only existing Barnard College sophomores, who are US citizens, can apply.

All applicants must be enrolled full-time. Preference will be given to these students with declared majors in the physical sciences (astronomy, physics, chemistry), pure & applied mathematics, and computer science, as these are fields where women remain under-represented. Per Luce Foundation CBL Program directive, pre-medical students cannot participate.  Such students should consider, instead, Barnard's Beckman Scholars Program.

Successful candidates will demonstrate evidence of critical traits such as leadership, maturity, perseverance, and dedication to quantitative scientific research. They will have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher, superior communication skills, research interests and/or experience aligned with their mentor, particularly compelling goals for independent research and post-graduate pursuits,  as well as a commitment to meeting the participation requirements for two summers and the intermediate academic year. 

How to Apply


January 2017 Prospective applicants should discuss, with a potential CBL mentor, the feasibility of numerical, computational and/or coding project involving Big Data.  They should also consider early declaration in an appropriate major.
February 10, 2017 Deadline for student's application materials
February 17, 2017 Faculty recommendation letters due
February 20-24, 2017 CBL candidate interviews


Guidelines and Checklist

Item Guidelines
Resume/CV One page
Student Statement

Students should prepare a one to two-page statement that concisely summarizes

  1. proposed research project and goals, making sure to specify how these are compatible with the research of the faculty mentor;
  2. educational & career goals following graduation from Barnard
  3. coding background and any prior research experience involving  numerical methods, computational work and/or Big Data
  4. plans for managing the rigorous commitments of the Clare Boothe Luce Scholars program.
Transcript Unofficial copy from the registrar is permissible; most recent semester’s course grades must be included.
Recommendation Primary Letter-Mentor The mentor should craft a 1-page plan detailing the scientific project, as well as the role & essential responsibilities of the CBL scholar
2nd Letter Should be from a faculty member at Barnard College


All materials should be emailed, with the applicant’s full name in the subject line, as .pdf attachments to Professor Halpin-Healy at the address given below.

CBL Scholar selection will be made by a chosen group of faculty drawn from the relevant departments- Physics & Astronomy, Chemistry, Psychology, Mathematics and CS.  Professor Tim Halpin-Healy, Physics Dept Chair, will head the committee.

Program Director Tim Halpin-Healy is available to answer questions from candidates and mentors about the application process.
504 Altschul
Office hours: by appt